TAMPA, FL — The Lakeland Renegades (1-1-0) and the Jacksonville Axemen (2-0-0) took home victories on the second Saturday (01 June 2019) of the 2019 USA Rugby League (USARL) South Division schedule. Each clamed a win over their respective opponents: the Atlanta Rhinos (0-1-0) and the Tampa Mayhem (1-1-0). These games worked to better stratify the USARL South’s now five-club division. Meanwhile, the Southwest Florida Copperheads had Saturday (01 June) off.
Lakeland Outlasts Atlanta
The Lakeland Renegades (1-1-0), a first-year USARL South club, upset the Atlanta Rhinos (0-1-0) Saturday with a 22 to 18 victory over the six-season team out of Georgia. Then,the Lakeland Renegades scored four tries, one each from Brandon Young, Tim Ashmun, Jack Lambert-Wilkes, and Daniel McGrath. Jack Lambert kicked 2/2 conversions, with David Ulch 1/2 conversions. For Atlanta, three Rhinos scored three tries. These included tries from Elliot Bryers and Hiko Maku. Also, Atlanta went 3/3 on conversions.
Atlanta Rhinos’ Captain Nick Newlin Discusses His Club’s Performance Saturday:
[Saturday was a] valiant effort from the team [Atlanta Rhinos] after we struggled to find numbers to start the season with a 7-hour road trip. We had 2 brand new players to rugby league and several new additions to the team that really picked it up quickly and hopefully will be with us for the remainder of the season. [We are] very proud of the effort in the heat though as we had a lead throughout most of the game. But, our lack of training together showed down the stretch. Hats off the Lakeland who showed great skill and hard-nosed defense for a first-year team.
Axemen Too Much for Mayhem
The Jacksonville Axemen (2-0-0) took a decisive 52 to 12 win over the hosts, the Tampa Mayhem (1-1-0), to remain the only unbeaten team in the USARL’s Southern Division.
In the first half, Steven Knight led Jacksonville (and game) with three tries. Also, Axemen David Washington, Josh Jackson, and Jye Montgomery scored one first-half try a piece for Jacksonville. Nathan Richter went five for six with first half conversions. Following a Tampa try from Corey Richert and a successful conversion from Charlie Hutchens, Jacksonville had taken a commanding 34 to 6 lead going into halftime.
In the second half, Axeman Khalial Harris reached the try zone twice, followed by a return trip by David Washington. Next, Axeman Nathan Richter (one) and Jye Montgomery (two) combined to give Jacksonville 18 more second-half points. Then, Justin Branca scored Tampa’s try. After Charlie Hutchens successfully converting his second attempt, the Mayhem had scored six more second-half points. After combining both halves and teams, Jacksonville moved forward as the 52 to 12 victors.
Jacksonville’s View from its Win
The Jacksonville Axemen will return for their home opener this weekend following a big win over the Tampa Mayhem. Following the win, Jacksonville improves to 2-0-0 and the match up against the Mayhem. Overall, the Tampa Mayhem was a good test for the Axemen to see how the team would respond under pressure.
Tampa’s Take on the Game
Speaking for the home team, Tampa Mayhem’s Captain Justin Branca gave RWU his take on the game. “Jacksonville capitalized on every mistake we [Tampa Mayhem] made and made us pay for it. You can’t give the defending champs a short field and expect to win.”
Upcoming USARL South Matchups for Saturday
This coming Saturday (08 June 2019) in the USARL South Division, the unbeaten Jacksonville Axemen will host the Lakeland Renegades. Also, Atlanta Rhinos plan to play a home matchup against the Southwest Florida Copperheads. The Tampa Mayhem will take the bye this Saturday.